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Tobacco and Cannabis Portrayed as Equals in the Media?

In today’s landscape, an increasing number of Americans view smoking cannabis as a less perilous choice compared to traditional tobacco. Despite this trend, recent media headlines might lead you to believe a pre-rolled joint is just as hazardous to your health as a pack of Camel cigarettes.

Join us as we delve into the truth behind these assertions, uncovering scientific research that highlights the distinct disparities between cannabis smoke and tobacco smoke

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Young person buying a pack of tobacco cigarettes at the local corner mart.

Misleading Media Narratives

Media outlets have eagerly highlighted the alleged hazards of cannabis smoke, and more often than not, they don’t accurately describe the parallels between cheap cigarettes and cannabis pre-rolls.

Provocative headlines such as “More Americans Than Ever Believe Marijuana Smoke is Safer Than Cigarette Smoke. They’re Wrong.” have propagated this misconception. In reality, the media appears to have veered off course on this issue.

Distinguishing Fact from Fallacy

Numerous studies have delved into the long-term health consequences of exposure to cannabis smoke, uncovering pivotal distinctions from the perils associated with tobacco. A groundbreaking study undertaken by UCLA examined lung cancer risks among more than 2,000 long-term smokers, contrasting those who smoked cigarettes, marijuana, or neither.

In addition to confirming that cigarette smokers faced a 20-fold risk of developing lung cancer in comparison to study found that marijuana smokers showed no escalated risk whatsoever.

The study’s lead author stated, “We hypothesized that there would be a positive association between marijuana use and lung cancer, and that the association would be more positive with heavier use… What we found instead was no association at all, and even a suggestion of some protective effect.”

Respiratory Well-being: A Fresh Perspective

Researchers at the Colorado School of Public Health embarked on an exhaustive study involving 2,300 participants aged 40 to 80, aiming to comprehend the impact of marijuana tincture usage on respiratory function.

The outcomes were unexpected yet in line with other research – both current and past marijuana users displayed superior lung function compared to non-users. Additionally, marijuana users exhibited less quantitative emphysema compared to their non-using counterparts.

Recent research has even called into question the idea that cannabis smoking exacerbates chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) progression or development. A study featured in the journal Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases concluded that cannabis smoking, whether current or former, did not significantly heighten COPD progression in individuals with a history of tobacco smoking.

Tobacco Carcinogens 

One of the most intriguing contrasts pertains to the level of carcinogenicity between cannabis and tobacco smoke. Research indicates that cannabis smoke contains far fewer harmful toxicants and carcinogens when compared to tobacco smoke.

In fact, some researchers hypothesize that the anti-cancer properties associated with connected cannabis compounds could potentially offset some of the perils typically linked to inhaling combusted smoke.

A Nuanced Outlook

While it’s imperative to recognize the distinctions between cannabis and tobacco smoke, it’s equally vital to acknowledge that cannabis smoke exposure is not entirely risk-free. Even smoking lavender can cause damage to the lungs as all things burn and produce some level of carcinogens.

Although cannabis smoke shares certain toxins and particulates with tobacco smoke, its impacts do not align with those of tobacco. For example, marijuana smoking has been linked to temporary increases in sputum production and wheezing, as well as a heightened risk of bronchitis.

Avoid Carcinogens

The previously mentioned risk of harming your respiratory health can be mitigated by employing a vaporizer device, which heats cannabinoids without combustion, thereby reducing exposure to harmful toxins. There are even other options that require no heating at the time of consumption, such as our Fairwinds metered-dose inhalers, our tinctures, or our drink mixes.

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Cannabis Vape Cartridges by Fairwinds.

Clarifying the Air

In summary, the notion that cannabis smoke carries an equivalent risk to tobacco smoke is both misleading and inaccurate. Scientific research consistently showcases that the hazards tied to these two modes of smoking are far from indistinguishable. While recognizing that cannabis smoke isn’t devoid of risk, it’s vital to view it through the lens of precise scientific findings. By debunking misconceptions and championing evidence-based comprehension, we can foster more informed discussions and policy choices encompassing cannabis use.

And as a reminder, if you’re about to pull out your phone and search for “tobacco store near me” you may be in better health if you change that search to “cannabis dispensary near me.” Be sure to prioritize making informed choices based off of research to ensure a safe and enjoyable smoking experience.